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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Has the time come when you can no longer provide your aging parent with the care he or she needs? Is it time to move them to a nursing home or other long-term care facility? These are difficult questions to confront. The fact that a parent is getting older and has increasing needs can also be tough to process and everyone may do so in a different way. These are just some of the reasons talking to siblings about what should be done with an elderly parent can easily lead to disagreements and heated arguments. So, what do you do when your siblings cannot agree on what should be done with an elderly parent? Let us discuss this possibility in more detail here.

When Siblings Cannot Agree on What Should Be Done with an Elderly Parent

Before broaching the topic of what to do about your elderly parent, it can be helpful to dive into some serious research. If you are currently taking care of your elderly parent or very close to your parent, it is likely that you have noted some warning signs that a higher level of care is needed. Make a list of the reasons why your parent might be safer if moved to a long-term care facility or if an in-home caretaker was hired. Explore your options based on the needs of your elderly parent and on available economic resources. Look into potential facilities that might be a good fit. Explore the possibility of how to have your parent safely age in place at home.

Bring this information with you to your discussions with your sibling. Selecting the right time to talk with your siblings can be logistically difficult. You may live far away from each other. You may have busy schedules. When you do get together, it may only be for family celebrations, which may not be the best time to bring up such a complex and emotionally charged topic. Do your best in arranging a time to talk. While in person can be best, video conferencing may also be a good option.

When you discuss what to do with an elderly parent with your siblings, list out your concerns and why you are bringing it up. Present the facts you have gathered. Be prepared for some pushback. Some people do not want to confront the fact that a parent is getting older and may be in denial about it as a result. While difficult, be prepared to not take things personally.

Should you and your siblings reach an impasse about what to do about an elderly parent, consider going to a family mediator or counselor. A neutral third party can be invaluable in helping disagreeing parties see through the emotion to what is at the heart of the matter and how to reach a mutually agreeable resolution.

Elder Law Attorneys

For questions about long-term care options and how to cover the expense of long-term care for an elderly parent, Merlino & Gonzalez has answers for you. Contact us today.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.